I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about inner strength. Being a person with a lot of inner strength is usually praiseworthy. Those types of people stand out to us. For those who go longer and farther and through greater hardship than most people, we usually express our admiration. “Wow! Look at that guy. I couldn’t go through what he’s been through.” or “I can’t imagine dealing with the tragedy she’s facing. I would break down if I were in her situation.” But the thing of it is, if we’re relying on our own inner strength, there will be times when we run out. It’s like doing too many push-ups. At some point your arms give out and you’re just not able to do any more. And at some point our inner strength will give out, too. It doesn’t have matter how strong we are relative to other people. Because any amount of strength we possess is limited. It has an end. And sometimes it’s just not enough. But God’s strength always is:
On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.
– Psalm 138:3, NASB
How can the psalmist be so bold? His strength came from God. God answered him. The psalmist wasn’t relying on his own strength. He was relying on that which was given to him by God. If we see later in that very same psalm, we come across these lines:
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
– Psalm 138:7-8, NASB
The psalmist realized that even when he walked in the midst of trouble, when the situation was against him, it wasn’t up to him to make it through. It was up to God. Even when there were those who were after him, real enemies, it was ultimately God’s hand which would prevail against them and save the psalmist. Why would God do this? The psalmist realized it was because God’s love and kindness were eternal. They were without end. And this caused the psalmist to ask God to remember him and the promises He had given to those who believed in Him.
What the psalmist realized is that true strength comes from God. As Christians, we can call upon God and He will answer. If we need His strength to make it through a situation, He will make us bold. He will give us His strength. He will stretch forth His hand. He will revive us and save us. And He does this because of His love for us. He will accomplish what concerns us. Nothing and no one will be able to prevent Him. Therefore, when we need strength, real strength, we should not rely on ourselves but rather, call out to Christ. And we will receive the strength we need. For as Paul said:
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13, NASB